Ottawa commits $24.6M for 3 affordable housing projects in Calgary

·2 min read

The federal government announced plans on Thursday to spend $24.6 million on new affordable homes in Calgary.

The funding from the rapid housing initiative of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will be used by three organizations to construct a total of 176 housing units:

  • Silvera for Seniors will use its portion to complete a hotel conversion in the city's northeast into a 120-unit seniors' residence.

  • Horizon Housing plans to construct a 29-unit modular home for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

  • HomeSpace Society will build new homes for urban Indigenous people at risk of homelessness by rehabilitating an old building with 27 housing units.

"This is just an extraordinary watershed moment for Calgary to see this type of investment coming into a city that desperately needs major investment to address the affordable housing crisis that our city faces," said Arlene Adamson, CEO of Silvera for Seniors.

Under the terms set out in the rapid housing initiative, the homes must be built by the end of next year.

"This is an incredibly important day. It's a day that shows how in the midst of unspeakable crisis, we have been able to come together," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi, calling the funding a solid down payment to address homelessness in Calgary.

Nenshi said Calgary's newly developed COVID-19 Community Advocacy Plan identifies the need to support 600 Calgarians experiencing homelessness into secure housing, and the potential to create or acquire 5,400 new homes over the next three years.

"Let me be clear: If we can make this community plan happen, with relatively modest investments from the three orders of government, at the end of three years we will have ended homelessness in Calgary," he said.

CMHC's rapid housing initiative is part of the National Housing Strategy, a 10-year plan to invest more than $55 billion to create 125,000 new homes for Canadians in need.

"Our government wants to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home," said Ahmed Hussen, the minister responsible for CMHC.